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Restaurants & Bars 1

The Living Room

Amanda | Jan 22, 200507:14 PM

My wonderful, magnificant husband treated me to a very nice dinner Friday evening at a place totally new to both of us.

We dined at The Living Room, the new steak-and-lobster place on Magazine St. at Washington Ave. last night. It was pretty good. The waiter said that they've been open since October.

I had a small broiled, stuffed lobster as my entree. Lobster was $18.95 per pound and I felt constrained to order a one pounder. Frank had a broiled redfish topped with a lot of crabmeat. Reports are the fish was great. It was certainly a generously sized portion of fish, I got only one bite but I can't complain, I had my hands full trying to dismember my lobster.

The lobster was supposed to be stuffed and broiled but did not appear to have seen a broiler and came with one small scoop (one of those sorbet-sized ice cream scoops?) of a seafood stuffing, not New Orleans-type stuffing with a lot of bread crumbs and maybe cheese either, just a mildly flavored hash of boiled seafood with maybe a small bit of mayonnaise binding it together.

Frank started with the turtle soup and said it was very good and not over-sherried (he hates over-sherried turtle soup), but not as good as the Commander's turtle soup. There was no egg bits visible in the broth, so he said he couldn't decide if it was made from real turtle meat or from calf's head/veal debris. He believes that no chef would add egg yolk to turtle soup made with substitutes for real turtle meat.

To start, I had a very nice salad with asparagus ans what was supposed to be feta cheese but neither looked like an or tasted like any feta I've ever had. After a few tastes of the salad minus the house vinagrette, they were nice about changing the house vinagrette for bleu cheese dressing.

We blew off wine because we were invited to a homemade vacation video showing/cocktail party at friend' at 8 p.m. and I drank Cosmopolitans and munched some nice canapes until 10 p.m.

We sat upstairs, but both up and downstairs the place looks like a wonderful space for dining. No smoking upstairs. The Living Room has pretensions to be very formal and stuffy but only a moderate amount of business. Example: when we arrived at the front door, we were asked by the Maitre d'Hotel if we had a reservation. Frank told him no and asked if we really needed one. The Maitre D' said rather frostily that it might be difficult to find us a place without a reservation.

At that time, 6:30 p.m., the downstairs was totally empty. We decided on the upstairs non-smoking area and were not surprised to find one table occupied.

We were taken to the smallest table in the house a two-top on the side of the upstairs. That'll teach us to show up without a reservation! In their defense, I'd estimate that 80% of the tables upstairs and 100% of the table downstairs were occupied by the time that we left.

The ownership is apparently from out of town. Houston? And the bottom line is that this is a good place, although their steak prices appear to be on the high end. But be alert, as I described with the stuffing, this restaurant does not have it's roots in New Orleans culinary traditions as I understand them

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